By Lizzie Bird
Exploring Brussels, I think on the search for Belgium waffles, a few of us stumbled across a centre for children’s books Le Wolf. Inside I found a children’s pop-up book PopVille which I fell a little bit in love with. As you are turn each page you build a pop-up city – see the video. Each page in Popville corresponds to a moment of urban development – from an isolated church amongst the trees to a bustling metropolis packed with streets, factories and stations. Just like any city some landscape references stay the same while others disappear to make way for new developments. The unpredictability of what will be there when you turn the page is all part of the fun just like the spontaneity that exists when living in a city.
Over the past couple of years the impact of the recession, falling values, lack of demand for commercial space and tight funding conditions have meant there is a real possibility of development sites laying empty for a number of years. An ever more popular solution to the increasing number of derelict sites seems to be exploring temporary uses in towns and cities. A recent exhibition at New London Architecture, Pop Up City explored ideas for temporary improvements to the urban fabric as response to change in the city see more at NLA Pop Up City